Polycom is helping companies defy distance, fat investments and cumbersome operationalities, with state of the art collaboration technologies that they bring to the market, says Laveen Hajela, Head Channels, India and SAARC
1. Polycom is a leading player in the enterprise communications space. What do you think sets you apart from the rest?
Polycom has been a pioneer – a leading innovator – in visual collaboration for about two decades. Our vision is to unleash human collaboration, so we have been investing all our energies to innovate around this technology and taking it to the market. We work with open standards and interoperability, which makes us backward and forward compatible with IT eco systems on customer premises.
Polycom also has the widest portfolio in collaboration –voice, video and content management – thus we give our customers the complete flavor of collaboration.
We take pride in associating with the leaders in the channel ecosystem. Most of the top unified communications (UC) vendors in the country work with Polycom. These are just a couple of differentiators in the market for Polycom.
2. How is Polycom’s sales strategy different from that of others in this space?
Our sales ecosystem can be broadly divided into three pillars – Polycom itself, reseller partners and distributors. Polycom has created space for each of these pillars in the go-to-market strategy. The top accounts are catered to by the Polycom led approach; the coverage for mid-market is by partner led approach, wherein we allow partners to take charge in taking Polycom to the customers; our distributor network is our points-of-sale (our goal is to take Polycom products to about 100 cities in India). With this three pillar approach, we are able to cover the entire spectrum of customers.
3. What do you see as the future of the collaboration market?
Collaboration is the mantra of our present times. Gone as the days when collaboration tools were looked at only through the lenses of hard dollar saving. Today, business as talking on the lines of being able to innovate faster, go to market sooner, increase throughput across the organization using collaboration. So companies are looking at incorporating collaboration into their way of function, and Polycom is helping them defy distance, across geographies, culture and time zones and collaborate better.
4. What industry verticals are adopting new collaboration technologies better than others?
IT / ITES were one of the earliest adopters of unified collaboration, along with the BFSI sector. While these sectors have adopted collaboration technologies eagerly, there’s still capacity to evolve further. Currently, we see healthcare, education and manufacturing that are adopting collaboration tools to increase their competitiveness in the market place.
Having this this, I should also mention the government space. The Indian government has been one of the pioneers in taking to e-governance, e-justice and telemedicine. So they (the government) too have been doing adopting visual collaboration.
5. Is Polycom levering cloud for its collaboration offerings? If so, how is it working with partners?
All enterprises are looking at cloud adoption in one form or the other – on premise, off premise or hybrid. Polycom, with its vast portfolio of collaboration products, supports all forms of cloud environment. Our service provider partners provide video meeting room services and bridging minutes. Polycom, through its virtualized software offerings can offer a subscription based setup to an organization so they can scale up depending on their requirements. As you can see, Polycom has all options for a cloud environment, and our partners are levering them to the hilt.
6. Do you have specialized channel partners for the cloud collaboration services?
In India we work closely with Airtel. In the subscription based offerings, we have partners with virtualized software practice who propagate our services further down to the market.
7. There’s tremendous competition in the enterprise networking (and associated services) space. How is Polycom using its partners to stay ahead?
With our pioneering technology, we give Polycom partners the differentiator in this space. Our open standards and interoperability are being harnessed by our channel partners in delivering our wide portfolio of voice, video, and content management solutions to deliver to our customers. Thanks to Polycom’s Professional Services wing, our partners are able to execute collaboration projects efficiently for any enterprise customer.
8. How evolved do you think the adoption of UC and VC is, in India enterprises. What more can be done?
I think the adoption has been impressive, but there is scope for more. Polycom is working with partners and has what we call Professional Services which gives aim to give training in adoption, network assessment, and how one can leverage the deployed technologies.
9. How critical are your channel partners in your sales strategy?
Polycom is a channel driver organization, and we owe our success in the marketplace to our channel partners. We work with channel partners according to their strengths. Some may have a vertical strength, so we work with such partners for vertical focus and some have geographical spread, so we work with them for geographical coverage. We are leveraging our distributors who are helping us reach our goal of reaching 100 cities in India. An important aspect of working with partners is to enable them and we do trainings to educate them around our products, verticals, content management, etc., to prepare them to take Polycom to the customers.